Clitheroe boxer ready for his biggest test

Luke Blackledge (left)
Luke Blackledge (left)
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HARD-HITTING boxer Luke Blackledge has hailed his forthcoming contest with Rudy Markussen as the biggest fight of his career.

The 22-year-old, recently crowned International Masters super-middleweight champion after victory over Nathan King, believes big things beckon should he dent the Dane’s record at Arena Nord, Frederikshavn, on March 16th.

“I can’t wait, I’ve got a big fight and I’m buzzing,” said Blackledge. “It’s definitely the biggest fight of my career. This is the one. This could lead to big things for me. It’s a massive opportunity.

“I’ve got a seven-week training camp in preparation for the fight so I’ve got a lot of hard work to put in yet. I’ll be put up against some good, cruiserweight sparring partners ready for my big moment.”

Blackledge may be unbeaten in 13 outings but Markussen’s seasoned career screams success. The 35-year-old has a record that boasts 38 wins from 42 bouts, including 25 by knockout. The Copenhagen-born fighter has claimed WBO Inter-Continental and EBU (European) super-middleweight titles and has fought for IBF, and WBA World super-middleweight titles, which he lost to Brian Magee.

However, Blackledge is confident that he can repeat the outcome of his fight with Mads Larsen who he sent sprawling to the canvas in the fourth round back in June.

“He’s had 42 contests and knocked out 25 of his opponents with just three losses,” Blackledge said. “Mads Larsen was a different fighter, a southpaw who moved about on the back foot while counter-punching. Rudy is a forward fighter, aggressive and he’s a big puncher.

“He’s won a European title and fought for world titles. He’s obviously a decent fighter and his record speaks for itself. He’s got a lot of experience but I’ve got youth on my side. I’m confident and I don’t believe he’ll knock me out.”

Markussen, who earned a first round KO against Daniel Regi last month, has vowed to do the same to Kevin Maree’s talented student. But Blackledge is ready to overwhelm his potent foe, adamant of causing an upset in Scandanavia, in a bid to give the ringside judges a simple verdict. Blackledge claimed that judges had controversially backed home fighter Larsen in the rounds leading up to his knockout, which has left him determined not to let this contest go to the card.

“I’m going there to win and I believe I will knock him out,” he declared. “I don’t think the fight will go the 10 rounds. I will be 110 per cent ready for this fight.

“With him being the home fighter it means I’ll have to go there and completely outbox him or KO him. I stopped Mads Larsen in the fourth round but up to that point the ringside judges had scored every round to him. There’s no chance that was the case so I need to make sure. This fight with Markussen could pave the way to the top.”